Buying Property in New Zealand

Buying Property in New Zealand

This part of our site provides you with a brief overview of the processes involved in buying a home in New Zealand. We have also given you some of the information you may need to consider when looking at making a permanent move to New Zealand, as well as many helpful links to make your research process easier.

The Process of Buying Real Estate in New Zealand

cowdy-content7The process of purchasing a home in New Zealand is quite straightforward in comparison to many European countries.
When you have found a property you like, you then put in a written offer, usually through the agent who has shown you through the property.

In New Zealand, a verbal offer to purchase a property is not considered to be legally binding.

Your offer must be completed in writing using a Sales & Purchase Agreement, and is usually made conditional on factors such as mortgage finance, title searches and building reports – designed to ensure you are covered should anything go wrong with your purchase.

When all the terms of the sale (including the purchase price, settlement and possession dates and any other conditions you may require) have been agreed to by the buyer and the seller, a contract will be signed.

Once the Sales & Purchase Agreement is signed and dated, you will be required to pay a deposit (usually 10% of the agreed purchase price) which your solicitor will hold for you.

This contract is legally binding, and therefore neither party can pull out of the transaction once it has been signed, unless one or more of the conditions of the contract are not fulfilled.

For example, if your offer has been made conditional on you gaining mortgage finance, and you are unable to obtain that finance, you may choose to withdraw from the contract on that basis.

Once all the conditions of the contract have been met to the satisfaction of both parties, the sale is then considered to be unconditional and is fully binding.

At this point, your deposit is normally released to the owner and will not be refunded should you fail to settle for any reason. There is also usually a clause in the contract for interest to be paid on the remainder of the purchase price if you delay settlement for any reason.

See the Frequently Asked Questions section on our site for more information about the legalities of the buying and selling process in New Zealand.